Friday Mailbag

Every once in while I like to go through search engine terms and occasional emails and toss out answers to questions.

email1. Is Titanic Switch Theory True?
The short answer: no. This particular conspiracy theory has been out there for a long time. It has been resurrected from time to time but once Titanic was found, it was easy to disprove. While both ships had similarities, there were some important differences that were easy to spot. Plus to switch ships would require a level of secrecy that would be nearly impossible to pull off.

2. Did Loraine Allison die on Titanic?

3. Why Did Loraine Allison Die?
At one point both mother and daughter were on a lifeboat but the mother choose to get off to find her husband. She also was trying to find baby Trevor.  So both parents died along with Allison.

4. Is Titanic II Really Going To Be Built?
Quite likely. It has big money behind it with Clive Palmer, a Chinese shipyard that will build it, and plans for its construction and fitting out being done. It also being supported by the Chinese government (not by money as far as I know but that is possible)for tourism and propaganda use. There is a reason they are building a Titanic simulator in a landlocked province. They want not only Chinese tourists but ones from all over the world as well.

5. (Battlestar Galactica)What are the differences in characters between old and new show?
The original show characters had a more upbeat tone and generally likable. The new version made the characters dark and in many cases unlikable. One thing I heard on various boards and commentaries on season 3 and later season 4 is the characters had gotten so unlikeable that perhaps the Cylons ought to wipe them out! Take the case of Colonel Tigh. On the original show he was tough but fair second in command to Commander Adama. The new show took its cue from In Harm’s Way in which a character played by Kirk Douglas drank too much, had a wife cheating on him (she dies with her lover at Pearl Harbor), and much later commits rape. Saul Tigh is loyal to Adama but drinks too much, gets into fights with junior officers like Starbuck, often questions the judgment of his commanding officer and junior officers, is part of a secret posse that kills those who collaborated with the Cylons on New Caprica, and kills his wife when he discovers she handed vital information over to the Cylons. That pretty much shows the stark difference in character depictions between the two shows.  And why I think people began to dislike such characters.

6. Did some sort of lunar event make Titanic sink?
There are those that speculate that a combination of things may have contributed to having more ice floating around at the time and making it difficult to see Titanic on the horizon. Such conjectures have some basis in fact but whether they are true or not is still up for debate.

7. Was Titanic really British owned?
Some still try to make the claim the United States had no legal jurisdiction to hear the salvage case on RMS Titanic. They generally cite two facts. One that RMS Titanic is a British registered ship flying the British flag. Second is that the company that owned it, White Star Line, was a British company though a subsidiary of International Mercantile & Marine (IP), an American holding company that was bankrolled by J.P.Morgan & Co. They tend to point out that because the ownership was not direct but through either a holding company or some other creation that RMS Titanic cannot be said to be an American owned ship. An interesting but ultimately fruitless argument. The ultimate owner of White Star Line was an American company, even if it did not exercise direct day-to-day operational control.

8. You really do not believe in ghosts do you?
I have no idea whether they exist or not but when studying possible hauntings one must look rationally at the facts. It is easy to be fooled by sights, sounds, and odors we cannot understand. Also the power of suggestion often comes into play when someone says it is a possible haunted exhibit. One must first gather evidence from people, examine carefully the place where it allegedly occurs, and test possible explanations. Sometimes it is easy and other times takes a bit of detective work to find out why you hear strange noises from the basement (a boiler not working right) or the sound of a child crying from an empty home or open structure (kittens mewing can sound like babies when the conditions are right), or if things are suddenly moving around (often surveillance reveals someone moving things about or vibrations cause things fall from shelves).

That’s all for now!